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RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Volleyball Fights Hard, Fall to Norse in Straight Sets

Payton Hostetler
Colonials fall to 4-11 after losing in straight sets to Northern Kentucky

MOON TOWNSHIP – The Robert Morris volleyball team (4-11, 1-3) hosted the Northern Kentucky Norse (7-7, 2-1) on Tuesday night at the UPMC Events Center. The Colonials would fight hard but fall by three sets to none.

In a fairly even contest throughout, the Colonials would start fast, taking an early 6-2 lead. From there, it was fairly evenly matched until seven straight points went NKU’s way, giving them a five-point lead. That seemed to take a lot out of the Colonials’ sails until a five-point run of their own tied the set at 16.

A four-point run by the Norse right after would ultimately help NKU take set one 25-21.

Three Norse players finished with double-digit kills, but head coach Danny Doherty was pleased with his team’s defensive effort.

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“We played a very solid defensive match,” Doherty said. “We slowed them [NKU] down when it needed to happen. I think we made adjustments and did things that were very solid. We are still going to work on those and refine those to get them a little bit better, and then work on raising our bad to good.”

Set two saw neither team hold a lead of more than three points until NKU again went on a run, taking a 12-7 lead. From there, it seemed all Norse until a five-point run, including three errors from NKU, gave RMU a 20-19 lead. It was a set of runs, as NKU would strike back to take a 23-20 lead, forcing Doherty to call timeout.

After that timeout, RMU scored three straight points to tie the set again but would give set two to NKU 25-23. Despite their best efforts, the Colonials could not quite close out either set. Coach Doherty found this as a learning experience for his team.

“It’s going to be a really good learning experience for us,” Doherty said. “To have that feeling and know what it looks like, and how to not have that feeling again. We’ll learn from this.”

Set three saw RMU take an early lead they would hold for most of it. Six of freshman Natalie Stepanovich’s 12 kills came in this set, which helped propel RMU to an 18-15 lead. It seemed to be all Colonials as two straight service aces by Stepanovich extended RMU’s lead to 23-15, their largest lead of the night in any set.

However, the Norse would fight back, and cut the deficit to just one after seven straight points. Despite RMU scoring a point to lead 24-22, the Norse would go on one more run, which proved to be the nail in the Colonials’ coffin, as they would drop set three 26-24 and fall in three sets.

Doherty commented on a few factors that ultimately led to the loss and expressed the importance of tonight for his young and developing team.

“There were times that we passed well but didn’t hit well, or we didn’t pass well and couldn’t get a swing,” Doherty said. “But we’re heading in the right direction. I think there’s a lot of good that can come from this match.”

Doherty complimented RMU’s net blockers, specifically Azra Eric and Emma Brown.

“They [Azra and Emma] really committed to being strong and being disciplined within their block,” Doherty said. “They are really understanding at reading setter play. I think they made some really good decisions.”

The Colonials remain home for their next match, hosting Milwaukee on Friday at 6 p.m.

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